Catholic teaching crosses party lines
Letter to the Editor | Friday, November 3, 2006
A Catholic liberal? Is that even possible? As more and more Catholic Church leaders begin to support the Republican Party based on the strong Republican stance against abortion, the question arises: is there a correct Catholic vote?
Contrary to the opinion that bi-partisan Catholic voting exemplifies a disunity and separation among Catholics, it shows the variety of Catholic views within the political sphere.The teachings of the Catholic Church are not incorporated solely into one political party. In fact, the Catholic Church’s consistent ethic of life belief has viewpoints that fit into both political party platforms.
There has been a strong movement aligning the Church with the Republican Party due to its stance against abortion. The Republican Party agrees with Church teaching against stem-cell research and same-sex marriage. However, these are not the only moral issues of importance in a political campaign.
The stance of the Democratic Party also includes views that are consistent with teachings of the Catholic Church. The stance of the Democratic Party against the death penalty, supporting public health programs, increasing the importance of conservation and more equitable economic policies all align with Church teaching. The most controversial and relevant issue may be about the concept of just war in relation to the war in Iraq, which the Democratic Party is typically more against than the Republican Party.
So where does that leave us Catholics? With the diverse spread of Catholic teachings throughout the political parties in the United States, we must turn to our own critical thinking skills to make our voting decisions. We must all critically evaluate the positions of all candidates in accord to Catholic teachings, the good of society, and non-religious political policies. Catholics are expected to create the best, most just world possible. This is a challenge in a democratic, pluralistic environment.
The key to moving toward change and progress is to continually evaluate the political situation rather than getting “stuck” on one party or one political issue. The burden is on us to be thoughtful, active citizens and Catholics working to create a better world.